Some time ago, a few ladies met in a certain city to read the scriptures, and make them the subject of conversation. While reading the third chapter of Malachi they came upon a remarkable expression in the third verse: “And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.”
One lady’s opinion was that is was intended to convey the view of the sanctifying influence of the grace of Christ. Then she proposed to visit a silversmith and report to them what he said on the subject. She went accordingly and, without telling the object of her errand, begged to know the process of refining silver, which he fully described to her. “But sir,” she said, “do you sit while the work of refining is going on?” “Oh, yes, madam,” replied the silversmith; “I must sit with my eye steadily fixed on the furnace, for if the time necessary for refining be exceeded in the slightest degree, the silver will be injured.”
The lady at once saw the beauty, and comfort too, of the expression, “He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” Christ sees it needful to put His children into a furnace; His eye is steadily intent on the work of purifying, and His wisdom and love are both engaged in the best manner for them. Their trials do not come at random, and they are only as intense and last only as long as is necessary for the refining process.
As the lady was preparing to leave the shop, the silversmith concluded by saying that he knows the process of purifying is complete when he can see his own image reflected in the silver. What a beautiful example! When Christ sees His own image in His people, His work of purifying is accomplished.
This was something I received by email a few years back, and it still comes to mind when I think of the trials and tragedies that I and others have experienced. Jesus "knows the process of purifying is complete when he can see his own image reflected" in us. He doesn't keep us in the fire one moment longer than is necessary because He knows our hearts and knows how much fire is too much. He protects us, loves us, and makes us shine with His reflection!
How blessed are we to have someone on our side who loves us that deeply? God is so good.